Even though actor Annu Kapoor is considered a storehouse of talent, it’s commonly believed that the veteran actor has never really got his due. Having been part of the Hindi film industry for roughly three decades, he only received his first National Award as an actor earlier this month, for Vicky Donor (2012), though he had previously won a National Award for his debut directorial venture, Abhay (1994), in the children’s films category.
In a candid conversation, he opens up about the insignificant offers that have come his way, the frustration of his job and what lies ahead.
Your first thoughts on winning the National Award?
Of course, I am overwhelmed. I am thankful to the people who have supported me all this while and continue to do so even today.
Why don’t we see more of you in films?
I wasn’t getting good offers. Whatever films I was offered required me to play insignificant roles. But after Vicky Donor, producers and directors are waking up to my talent again (smiles). Although good offers have started coming my way now, still only 30 per cent of them have strong parts for me.
Does it anger you — that fact that you haven’t been given your due?
Sure, it does. But I know that talent and success hardly get along. And in India, recognition for talent comes a bit late. But I am not bitter about this.
You don’t socialise with the industry much, do you?
I have very few friends within the industry. I am in touch with people like Satish Kaushik (actor-director) and Rumi Jafry (writer-director); but other than that, I go to work and I come back home every day… mujhe doston ne hi dhokhe diye hai (only friends have betrayed me).
Did you get frustrated after a point?
Undoubtedly; after waiting for quality work for so long, a sense of frustration started building up. But I never lost hope. I never lost my cool.
What’s next after Vicky Donor?
I am doing quite a few films: Yamla Pagla Deewana 2, Badlapur Boys, my brother Ranjeet Kapoor’s Jai Ho Democracy and Muavza, in which I play a kabaddi coach who inspires a team to win. My hands are full right now.
Any plans to direct films again?
I am in the process of starting my second directorial venture.